Category Archives: Exploring Historic Dutchess County NY

Day Two Hundred and Forty-Five Exploring the Historical sites of Fishkill, NY- A Local Journey August 7th and 14th, 2022

I love visiting the Hudson River Valley so any event or tour that I can go on is an excuse to come up here. I had visited all the sites that I wanted to see on a trip two weeks earlier but wanted to see them in more detail plus I wanted to take some pictures. The weather finally broke, and it was a much more pleasant 83 degrees as opposed to the 96 degrees the trip before. That makes the trip much nicer.

I asked my aunt along so that we could share in the experience, and I could use her phone to take pictures of the all the sites. It is a much nicer trip when you have someone along who enjoys these things. The one nice thing about traveling to the Fishkill, New York area is that it is only an hour away and a straight run up the New York Thruway to Route 84 and then to Route 9. Just a couple of quick back streets and you will be there.

On my first trip up, I got there so early that no one was at the first site, The Brinckerhoff Homestead Historical site, the home of the East Fishkill Historical Society at 68 North Kensington Drive in Hopewell Junction, NY. I double back and stopped for a quick snack at G & R Deli Cafe, a small deli at 2003 Route 52 in a strip mall near the old IBM campus. I needed a snack.

G &R Deli Cafe at 2003 Route 52

https://www.gnrdelicafe.com/

https://www.facebook.com/grdelicafe/

Since I already had dinner plans, I ordered a Sausage, Egg and Cheese on a roll ($5.95) which was a bit more expensive than in the City but it was delicious. The sausage had a nice taste of sage and gave it a lot of flavor. I just relaxed outside in the parking lot and ate breakfast.

After my snack, I got back to the Brinckerhoff Homestead at 12:00pm when it was supposed to open but around 12:30pm there was still no one there and I kept knocking on the door. That’s when one of the county members let me know that they did not open until 1:00pm. Since I had a list of places to visit that day and the time had been posted all over the internet, I asked if we could please start early. He agreed and I got a personal tour of the house. When I came back two weeks later, I better timed it for the 1:00pm opening to take pictures.

The Brinckerhoff Homestead at 68 Kensington Drive

https://kk-kz.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100057186982344

The Brinckerhoff family is prominent in the Fishkill area and family members still visit the homestead so the house’s history is ongoing. The house is broken down into three sections as you can see by the picture. The original part of the home was built by John G. Brinckerhoff in 1755 and it consisted of the “Everything Room” on the lower floor with the hearth for cooking, a beehive oven and the large room upstairs for family living.

As John Brinckerhoff’s family grew, they moved out of the house and his brother, George G. Brinckerhoff moved into the home with his family. After the Revolutionary War was over and George G.’s assignment was over in the army, he returned to the house and in 1785 added the middle main addition of the house with four additional rooms. The larger rooms and high ceilings showed the family affluence in that they could heat the home.

When George died in 1812, his brother John and his family moved back into the house. In 1814, the family sold the house to the Purdy family. They lived in the house for the next 60 years and added the final addition onto the house to the left with a summer kitchen and an outdoor oven. It remained in the family until 1875 when it was sold to the Palen family who used it again as a farm. It was then again sold to the Moore family in 1926 and lastly sold to East Fishkill Historical Society in 1974 by developer Gustav Fink who was a developer in the area (East Fishkill Historical Society).

The rooms are decorated in period furnishings and when we started the tour, you begin in the oldest section of the home with the original kitchen area.

The “Everything Room” in the Brinckerhoff Homestead

This is where the family would cook, eat, do their work on farm affairs and socialize. There was also a small general store on the property as well. The upstairs was closed to the public.

You next moved into the main rooms of the 1785 addition which brought it the into then modern era with high ceilings and larger rooms so that the family had more living space and could entertain.

The Main Dining Room of the home which was set for Hot Chocolate service which again showed the family’s affluence as chocolate was very expensive then

We also toured the Living Room which was set for socializing and work women did for the home with needlepoint, weaving, and clothes making. There was still room for people to gather and entertain.

The Living Room of the 1785 addition to the home

Along the main corridor of the home in the addition was all sorts of artifacts from the Revolutionary War period and items from the time.

Our last part of the tour was the latest addition by the Purdy family when we toured the ‘Summer Kitchen”, which showed how the home had progressed over the years. Little by little each family brought it into the next ‘modern era’.

Both times I got to tour the grounds and the beautiful gardens that the volunteers maintained. Rock gardens and flower beds line the three acres of land around the house. Along with the flower beds, several historical buildings have been moved to the property including the one room schoolhouse from District 9 in East Fishkill that was built in 1826, the 1870 Icehouse which once supplied another home with its ice for the home to keep food fresh before the advent of refrigeration.

The Schoolhouse and the Icehouse and gardens

Another building that is still in use and is open when the house is open for touring is the John Hyatt Blacksmith shop from 1880. It still has some of the original tools and the blacksmith on duty still works the fire and performs tasks in the building.

The last building on the property is the Van Wyck Carriage Barn from 1845. It had been built by Judge Theodorus Van Wyck for his home that was built in East Fishkill that was torn down by the development of the IBM Campus in 1984. IBM paid to have the carriage house dismantled and moved to this property.

The East Fishkill Historical Society with the Brinckerhoff home in the center, the schoolhouse to the right and the blacksmith shop and the carriage house to the left

We took our time to tour the house and the grounds and on my initial visit I got to tour the schoolhouse, the ice house and the blacksmith shop to see the inner workings of these buildings and how they operated.

The docents had told me that they had recently held a ‘Strawberry Festival’ recently promoting the local fruit crops and serving complimentary strawberry shortcake that everyone enjoyed and was gone quickly. There are also Revolutionary War reenactments done on the property and for the holiday season the home will be decorated for the period Christmas holidays with an open house, so there will be things to do and see in the future.

Our next stop on the tour of homes was the Van Wyck Homestead Museum at 504 Route 9, the old Albany Post Road. The house had stood on the main transportation line during the Revolutionary War period and it had served as General George Washington’s northern supply depot during the war because of this location.

Van Wyck Homestead Museum at 504 Route 9 (the Old Albany Post Road)

http://www.fishkillhistoricalsociety.org/

In 1732, Cornelius Van Wyck bought 959 acres of land from the original Rombout Patent and built the smaller section of the home to the right in 1732. As the family gained affluence in farming and trade, the larger section of the home to the left was built in 1757 with larger rooms and higher ceilings again to show a family’s wealth.

Because of the location of the house in Fishkill on the main road of transportation and the strategic location near the mountains to the south, General George Washington requisitioned the home as the northern supply depot for the Continental Army in October of 1776. Here supplies were run through, army regiments passed and people were buried who died during the war. The house was also used as the headquarters and court marshals and punishments took place on the property (Van Wyck Homestead Museum pamphlet). After the war was over, the house and farm was returned to the family.

The historical marker of the original home

The way the house was furnished was slightly different from the Brinckerhoff Homestead that looked more like you were walking into someone’s actual home. The old Living Room of the Van Wyck Homestead is being used as a meeting room and a place to display items from the Revolutionary War.

The Living Room and Meeting Room at the Van Wyck Homestead

The Revolutionary War Collection at the Van Wyck Homestead

Towards the back of the home is a Library/Research area and we were able to see all the old books and records that are part of the home’s collection. This is where most people do their genealogy work and family research.

The Research Library at the Van Wyck Homestead

What both my aunt and I thought was interesting was when we entered the older part of the house and the old Dining Room area. Many of the artifacts were old Van Wyck family heirlooms that had been donated over the years.

The Dining Room of the Van Wyck Homestead

Some of the recent additions were the crib which had been in the family for five generations and had just been donated to the home as well as the painting over the fireplace had just been collected by the home. Like the Brinckerhoff Homestead, there are many members of the Van Wyck family who come back to visit and still live in the area.

The Colonial kitchen and hearth are in the oldest section of the home from 1732. This is where the “Everything Room” was located. Back when this was the only section of the home, this is where all the cooking, dining, family business and social activities were located. All sorts of kitchen equipment lined the walls and shelves to show life in colonial times. It was funny that much of it has not changed over the years, just modernized.

The original family kitchen in the 1732 section of the Van Wyck Homestead

Outside the home, the organization planted the outside gardens and there is a recreation of the old beehive oven aside the home. It gave you a glimpse of how food came about for these large families before supermarkets.

The Van Wyck Gardens showed how the house was self-sufficient at one time

After touring the grounds, we walked back to see the displays one more time. On my initial trip, the tour guide let me see the upstairs rooms. In the newer part of the home, they had been turned into storage and offices for the docents. In the older part of the home, the old loft area was used for storage, and it was pretty dusty.

After touring these two homes, we were off to Wappinger’s Falls further up Route 9 to visit the Mesier Homestead in Mesier Park just off the beginning of Downtown Wappinger’s Falls. There was a concert going on in the park and my aunt said she needed a break from visiting these old homes. Too many arrowheads and Revolutionary War furniture so she stayed and listened to the concert while I toured the home.

The Mesier Homestead in Mesier Park

https://www.wappingershistoricalsociety.org/mesier-homestead

The Mesier Homestead is the home of the Wappinger Falls Historical Society, who maintains the home. The Mesier home is much like the other homes in that it had been added onto as the family grew and became more affluent. The original part of the home is currently going through a renovation and the President of the Wappinger Falls Historical Society explained that they just discovered the old hearth and oven and are currently restoring the historic windows.

The original part of the home is currently under renovation

Starting the tour at the front entrance of the home that leads to the formal Living Room that is decorated with Victorian decor. Again the large rooms and high ceilings showed the family affluence by showing how they could afford to heat their home.

The Living Room at the Mesier Homestead

The copies of the Mesier family portraits in the Mesier Living Room

The Living Room leads to the back Library where many additions of older books are held and where visitors can do research on their family history in the Wappinger Falls. Many are trying to trace their family’s history.

The Mesier Homestead Library and Research Room

The back area of the house is closed for renovations, but you can climb the stairs to the old bedrooms on the second floor. Here is where both the family and the family slaves then servants lived on the same floor.

The Adult’s Bedroom set during Victorian times

A woman’s boudoir during Victorian times

The rooms also showed a child’s place in the family where during Victorian times were treated like ‘little adults’ being trained for their future lives. Toys not just sparked the imagination but also prepared children for domestic life

Children’s playthings during Victorian times spurred imagination

On top of the recreations of the family life in both Colonial and Victorian times that the family lived through, there was an extensive collection of Native American items showing the original settlers of the region when the Lenape Indians lived, fished and hunted in this area before the arrival of the Dutch in the late 1600’s.

The Native American collection on the second floor of the Mesier Homestead

The last part of the tour ended in the formal Dining Room where the entertainment was done and the family took their meals. When I asked why these homes seemed so much smaller than homes like the Vanderbilts and Mills families, it was explained that these families were older more established and did not have to show off their wealth. Since these were God fearing individuals, it was not acceptable to be ‘showy’. People knew they were affluent so they could show off but not flaunt it.

The formal Dining Room at the Mesier Homestead set for dinner

During the Christmas holiday season, the house is beautifully decorated for a Victorian Christmas with garlands and bows and period decorations. Most of these old homes are elegantly decorated as the families once had done during the holidays.

During Colonial times, Christmas meant church services in the morning or afternoon and then a formal dinner in the afternoon. You might have pine, garland and berries decorate the house whereas during Victorian times, it was a much more elaborate affair. There would be a Christmas tree, garland and pine all over the home and gift giving. Christmas cards would have also decorated the home as well.

The Mesier Homestead at Christmas time (Wappinger Falls Historical Society)

After the tour, I took a quick walk into downtown Wappinger Falls which has a great downtown with terrific restaurants and a great view of the river and falls.

Downtown Wappinger Falls has such a unique look to it.

Our last part of the tour was visiting the First Reformed Church of Fishkill at 717 Route 9 at the beginning of Downtown Fishkill, NY. This elegant old church with its historic cemetery was built in 1732 on land that had been set aside for the church.

The Fishkill First Reformed Dutch Church at 717 Route 9 with the DuBois House next door

The church was closed for the afternoon as services are at 10:00am on Sundays so I toured around the church and the cemetery. What was interesting about the cemetery is all the family plots and who was intermarried into whose families.

The cemetery behind the church is full of family plots including the Brinckerhoff and Van Wyck families

After touring the church and the cemetery grounds, I took my time and walked Downtown Fishkill which is lined with small but interesting restaurants and stores. The street had been lively the two times that I visited with people enjoying the outdoor dining and the perfect 80-degree weather.

Historic Downtown Fishkill, NY

https://shopdowntown.org/pages/shop-downtown-Fishkill-New%20York

While walking around Downtown Fishkill, I came across the Fishkill Creamery at 1042 Main Street and needed a quick snack on a hot afternoon. The store was really busy with people eating outside on the benches and tables. I stopped in and had a scoop of Strawberry Cheesecake and a scoop of Birthday Cake ice cream. Did it hit the spot! The Strawberry Cheesecake was especially good with chunks of fresh strawberries in it.

The Fishkill Creamery at 1042 Main Street in Downtown Fishkill

https://www.facebook.com/FishkillCreamery/

After the ice cream, it was time for dinner (I always believe in saving room for dessert). Both times I tried Antonella’s Pizzeria & Restaurant at 738 Route 9 in Fishkill. You really have to search for the restaurant as it is located in the strip mall in the Shoprite Mall.

Antonella’s Pizzeria & Restaurant at 738 Route 9

The food here is really good. When I came up on my own, I just wanted something small, and I ordered the Cheese Calzone ($8.95). The thing was huge! The Calzone was so large that it could have fed two people easily. It was loaded with Ricotta, Mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses and they make a terrific marinara sauce that accompanied it. By the time I finished devouring the thing, I was stuffed. This after all that ice cream.

We returned to Antonella’s when my aunt and I returned to Fishkill for the touring since I was so impressed with the food and service. My aunt had the Sausage, Pepper & Onion Roll ($8.50) and I had the Stromboli Roll ($8.50) which had ham, salami, pepperoni, Ricotta and Mozzarella cheeses wrapped in a perfectly baked pizza dough. Both were served with their flavorful marinara sauce. After a long day of touring, it was just what we needed. We also took plenty of time to relax and digest on this trip.

The Cheese Calzone’s at Antonella’s are excellent

It was really a nice day and there is so much to see and do in this part of the Hudson River Valley. I had not really explored Fishkill, NY so it was fascinating to see all these old homes and historic sites and know their place in history. Take the time to tour these homes and hear the family stories. Remember to head back during the Christmas holiday season and explore these homes and the downtowns when they are decorated for the season. There is a special magic in the Hudson River Valley during the holiday season. Check their websites for more activities during the year.

(Please read the accompanying reviews on VisitingaMuseum.com to see a full description on these homes).

Places to Visit:

Brinckerhoff House Historic Site/East Fishkill Historical Society

68 North Kensington Drive

Hopewell Junction, NY 12524

(845) 227-4136

https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100057186982344

Admission: Free

Open: Sundays 1:00pm-4:00pm/Monday-Saturday Closed/June-August

My review on TripAdvisor:

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g47922-d24829233-Reviews-Brinckerhoff_House_Historical_Site-Hopewell_Junction_New_York.html

My review on VisitingaMuseum.com:

https://wordpress.com/post/visitingamuseum.com/8327

Van Wyck Homestead Museum

504 U.S. 9

Fishkill, NY 12524

(845) 896-0560

https://www.hudsonrivervalley.com/sites/Van-Wyck-Homestead-Museum-/details

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Van_Wyck_Homestead_Museum

Admission: Free

Open: Sunday 1:00pm-4:00pm/Monday-Saturday Closed/June-October

My review on TripAdvisor:

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g47724-d263982-Reviews-Van_Wyck_Homestead_Museum-Fishkill_New_York.html

My review on VisitingaMuseum.com:

https://wordpress.com/post/visitingamuseum.com/8339

The Mesier Homestead & Museum-Wappinger’s Falls Historical Society

2 Spring Street

Wappinger’s Falls, NY  12590

(845) 632-1281

Open: Sunday 1:00pm-4:00pm/Check website for special events

Fee: Adult $10.00/Seniors $7.00/Children 7-18 $5.00/Members Free

https://www.wappingershistoricalsociety.org/

My review on TripAdvisor:

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g48799-d16919924-Reviews-Mesier_Homestead_and_Museum-Wappingers_Falls_New_York.html?m=19905

My review on VisitingaMuseum.com:

https://wordpress.com/post/visitingamuseum.com/4173

First Reformed Dutch Church of Fishkill

1153 Main Street

Fishkill, NY 12524

(845) 896-4546

Open: Church Services are on Sundays at 10:00am

https://www.facebook.com/FirstReformedChurchofFishkill/

My review on TripAdvisor:

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g47724-d263921-Reviews-First_Reformed_Church_of_Fishkill-Fishkill_New_York.html

My review on VisitingaMuseum.com:

https://wordpress.com/post/visitingamuseum.com/8333

Where to Eat:

G &R Deli Café

2003 NY Route 52

Hopewell Junction, NY 12533

(845) 202-7669

https://www.gnrdelicafe.com/

https://www.facebook.com/grdelicafe/

Open: Sunday 7:00am-2:00pm/Monday-Friday 6:00am-4:00pm/Saturday 7:00am-3:00pm

My review on TripAdvisor:

https://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowUserReviews-g47922-d24829555-r851173564-G_R_Deli_Cafe-Hopewell_Junction_New_York.html?m=19905

Antonella’s Italian Restaurant

738 Route 9 Suite 13

Fishkill, NY 12524

(845) 896-9191

https://www.antonellasrestaurant.com/fishkill-menu

Open: Sunday 12:00pm-10:00pm/Monday-Thursday 11:00am-10:00pm/Friday and Saturday 11:00am-11:00pm

My review on TripAdvisor:

https://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowUserReviews-g47724-d5112543-r851247421-Antonella_s_Italian_Restaurant_Pizza-Fishkill_New_York.html?m=19905

Fishkill Creamery

1042 Main Street

Fishkill, NY 12524

(845) 214-5544

https://www.fishkillcreamery.com/

https://www.facebook.com/FishkillCreamery/

Open: Sunday 12:00pm-9:30pm/Monday-Thursday 12:00pm-9:30pm/Friday-Saturday 12:00pm-10:30pm

My review on TripAdvisor:

https://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Restaurant_Review-g47724-d23864092-Reviews-Fishkill_Creamery-Fishkill_New_York.html?m=19905

First Reformed Dutch Church of Fishkill 1153 Main Street Fishkill, NY 12524

Don’t miss this interesting tour of the church and its cemetery in the start of Downtown Fishkill, NY.

The First Reformed Dutch Church of Fishkill, NY

Don’t miss touring their historic cemetery.

Visiting a Museum: The Unique, Unusual, Obscure and Historical

First Reformed Dutch Church of Fishkill

1153 Main Street

Fishkill, NY 12524

(845) 896-4546

Open: Church Services are on Sundays at 10:00am

https://www.facebook.com/FirstReformedChurchofFishkill/

My review on TripAdvisor:

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g47724-d263921-Reviews-First_Reformed_Church_of_Fishkill-Fishkill_New_York.html

After visiting three historical homes in the Fishkill area covering the towns of Hopewell Junction and Wappingers Falls, my last stop of the day was the First Dutch Reformed Church of Fishkill, NY. The church was closed at this point with services being on Sunday’s only starting at 10:00am. I was able to tour around the church admiring its architecture, looking over the DuBois House which is also owned by the church and exploring the cemetery.

The cemetery was the most interesting being the final resting place of many of the ‘first families’ of the area, including family plots of the Van Wyck and Brinckerhoff families, who also intermarried with each other. There were sections dedicated just to the families…

View original post 1,417 more words

Brinckerhoff House Historic Site/East Fishkill Historical Society 68 North Kensington Drive Hopewell Junction, NY 12524

Don’t miss the interesting look at farm life in early America at the Brinckerhoff Homestead.

The Brinckerhoff Homestead at 68 North Kensington Drive

The Dining Room at the Brinckerhoff Homestead

Visiting a Museum: The Unique, Unusual, Obscure and Historical

Brinckerhoff House Historic Site/East Fishkill Historical Society

68 North Kensington Drive

Hopewell Junction, NY 12524

(845) 227-4136

https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100057186982344

Admission: Free

Open: Sundays 1:00pm-4:00pm/Monday-Saturday Closed/June-August

My review on TripAdvisor:

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g47922-d24829233-Reviews-Brinckerhoff_House_Historical_Site-Hopewell_Junction_New_York.html

The Brinckerhoff House Historical Site

The Brinckerhoff House Historical Site was built in three different time periods with the oldest part of the house to the right, the main part of the house was built second and the Sun Room and porch to the left was built last. The house opens up in all parts but you can see the distinct different in the style of the design.

The entrance of the original homestead

The entrance of the Homestead has the schoolhouse and icehouse to the left of the entrance and the blacksmith shop and the carriage house to the right. The Blacksmith shop has a real blacksmith on duty working when the house is open for tours.

The original section…

View original post 895 more words

Van Wyck Homestead Museum 504 U.S. 9 Fishkill, NY 12524

Don’t miss visiting the Van Wyck Homestead for an interesting look into the Hudson River Valley past.

The Van Wyck Homestead at 504 US 9

The family heirlooms at the Van Wyck Homestead

Visiting a Museum: The Unique, Unusual, Obscure and Historical

Van Wyck Homestead Museum

504 U.S. 9

Fishkill, NY 12524

(845) 896-0560

https://www.hudsonrivervalley.com/sites/Van-Wyck-Homestead-Museum-/details

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Van_Wyck_Homestead_Museum

Admission: Free

Open: Sunday 1:00pm-4:00pm/Monday-Saturday Closed/June-October

My review on TripAdvisor:

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g47724-d263982-Reviews-Van_Wyck_Homestead_Museum-Fishkill_New_York.html

The Van Wyck Homestead at 504 U.S. 9

Visiting the Van Wyck Homestead is like stepping back into the past to see a part of our nation’s history. The homestead sits at a once pivotal point location in the Hudson River Valley and during the Revolutionary War, George Washington established his main northern supply depot here in October of 1776. After the war was over, the Van Wyck family returned to the home and lived here for five generations until the late 1800’s. The last member of the family, Sidney Van Wyck hung himself in the barn on the property (Van Wyck Homestead pamphlet).

The house was built in two sections. The original section of the house off to the right of the building is…

View original post 786 more words

Day Two Hundred and Forty-Three Visiting the Ulster County Fair in Ulster County New York August 5th, 2022

I really enjoy my trips to the Hudson River Valley to attend weekend events. When I read about the series of County Fairs that will be held during August upstate, I wanted to start visiting them. I have been to the Dutchess County Fair for many years, but I never ventured outside that fair. I have never really explored Ulster County, so I decided to head upstate and visit the Uster County Fair for the afternoon. It was an eye opener.

https://www.facebook.com/ulstercountyfair/

I found that the Ulster County Fair was about half the size of the Dutchess County Fair across the river. The fairgrounds are smaller than Dutchess County’s so you could tour the fair much quicker. There were lots to do at the fairgrounds and I explored the whole fair over the next three hours.

I first visited the Volunteer Fire Museum and the Police Museum that are only open when the fair is open. The Police Museum was stocked with equipment that law enforcement has used over the last hundred years that includes batons, handcuffs and how a police station works. They even had a small jail display. The Volunteer Fire Museum was stocked with equipment that volunteer fire departments had donated, pictures and patches of local departments and like The Police Museum staffed by volunteers from the departments who could describe the objects in the museum and what their position was in their departments.

It was a nice to talk to other volunteer fire fighters who face the issues we all face, changing ranks in the volunteers with a generation gap and trying to recruit new fire fighters. All of us still have the pride of being a fire fighter but the role seems to be changing. The museum reflected that with new ways of firefighting are being practiced but keeping the traditions alive. Both museums should be a bit more updated.

After I left the museums, I toured the 4H displays. There were barn pens filled with cows, horses, rabbits, pigs and chickens. The 4H members were taking care of their animals, washing them and feeding them and the animals seemed to know that they were on display. Some of them looked like they were showing off by the way they moved around in their pens. The kids showed their pride by the way they cared for them. The way they cleaned and brushed them and cared for their pens.

What I liked about the 4H stand was their food station. They had the most reasonable food at the fair. Their hot dogs were $2.00, their sodas were $1.00, and their milkshakes were $5.00 as opposed to the higher prices of the food vendors. I had a vanilla shake that the kids made, and I will tell you that there is nothing better than a fresh vanilla shake made with fresh milk and fresh ice cream made from their cows. I really enjoyed it.

I looked around at the food vendors and I could not believe the prices. Everything was so expensive. The hamburgers pulled pork sandwiches and cheesesteaks were between $12.00 to $15.00 and I thought that was too high. The zeppole and fried dough not only were $8.00 for six small zeppole but all the fried foods were sitting under heat lamps. If there were seventy or eighty people at the fair that afternoon, it was a lot. There was no reason for them to cook so much food in advance. I stopped at one pizza stand and had a slice of pizza for $6.00 and a Coke for $3.00 and it was a lot for a slice of pizza with no flavor.

I walked around all the booths that were selling local wares and there were people selling arts and crafts and food items. There were some interesting food stuffs like local honey, jellies, syrups and baked items but again they priced them so high that it was cheaper to buy them in a grocery store. Maple syrup should not be $14.00 for a small jar. I think these vendors priced out the customers that were coming to the fair.

I walked around the amusement area of the fair and that got busier by the end of the afternoon as families started to arrive during the early evening. As I walked around the rides, more and more kids were on the rides. Most of the rides were geared towards small children and I could see the teenagers watching their younger siblings enjoying themselves. They would go off with their friends as soon as the parents returned.

The Ulster County Fair Amusement area

After I had visited all the attractions, amusement areas and walked around the fair about four times, I ventured out of the fair to get dinner. The options were just too expensive, and the selection was not very good. I decided to head into downtown New Platz for dinner.

As I was leaving at 6:00pm, the crowds really started to come in as the entertainment was going to start at 8:00pm. Singer Allie Colleen was headlining that night and it looked like she was going to have a big crowd. What I did not realize until later is that she is Garth Brook’s daughter and a noted Country music singer.

Singer Allie Colleen

https://www.alliecolleenmusic.com/

Trying to leave the fair was an experience as the traffic started to increase and you had to leave the way you came in. I could not believe that the entrance was the exit as well.

The funny part of the Ulster County Fair Grounds is that it is in the middle of farmland as opposed to the Dutchess County Fairgrounds that are on the edge of Rhinebeck. Two different fairs with two different vibes. I really felt that I was among the locals at this fair whereas the Dutchess County Fair gets people from the City and from New Jersey as well. I really did feel like a visitor.

I parked up in Downtown New Platz and have to admit that it has not changed much since my first visit during Christmas of 2014. Parts of the downtown have attracted more expensive restaurants and there are some newer stores but the downtown still has that college vibe to it with a ‘New Age’ feel. It’s like a bigger version of Woodstock.

Downtown New Paltz, NY

https://www.townofnewpaltz.org/

https://www.iloveny.com/places-to-go/hudson-valley/spotlight-new-paltz/

I walked all around the downtown area to see all the new places to eat and shop. I got into the downtown just before things started to close. Like many other towns, New Paltz has taken a hit in their businesses when the SUNY Campus closed but it looks like new businesses are starting to open in their place. What surprised me was the prices for meals. These restaurants were not catering to the artists or the college students but more to out-of-town visitors. I have this thing about $34.00 entrees in a college town.

I went to McGillicuddy’s restaurant at 84 Main Street for dinner that night. I had been there many times before when visiting New Paltz and I love the college vibe of the place. Plus, you can watch the games on the big screen TVs.

McGillicuddy’s at 84 Main Street

https://cuddysny.com/

I ordered one of their Original Hamburgers with a side of Waffle fries and I have to tell you it was one of the best burgers that I had had in a long time. Their burgers are large and juicy and have a wonderful beefy taste (order it medium well to get a well-done burger) and it was accompanied by a large portion of waffle fries ($12.95). Everything was delicious and the service was great.

The burger and fries were delicious

What is nice about New Paltz is that it is on the opposite side of the river from all the places I normally visit like Rhinebeck and Red Hook and once out of town, you immediately get to the New York Thruway, and I was home in just over an hour.

It was a nice experience and fun visiting the fair. Now off to visit the Dutchess County Fair in two weeks!

My day at the Dutchess County Fair:

Day One Hundred and Nineteen-Visiting the Dutchess County Fair:

https://wordpress.com/post/mywalkinmanhattan.com/7786

Places to Visit:

The Ulster County Fair (Every August)

Ulster County Fairgrounds

249 Libertyville Road

New Paltz, NY 12561

(845) 255-1380

https://ulstercountyfair.com/

Open: The Fair is every August but check their website for other events

Places to Eat:

McGillicuddy’s

84 Main Street

New Paltz, NY 12561

(845) 256-9289

https://cuddysny.com/

Open: Sunday 12:00pm-12:00am/Monday-Thursday 3:00pm-12:00pm/Friday 3:00pm-4:00am/Saturday 12:00pm-4:00am

My review on TripAdvisor:

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Restaurant_Review-g48245-d2192041-Reviews-McGillicuddy_s-New_Paltz_Catskill_Region_New_York.html?m=19905

Day One Hundred and Nineteen: Walking the Dutchess County Fair Friday, August 24th, 2018 (revisited on August 12th, 2019, and August 27th, 2022)

I took some time off from walking in the City to walking around Upstate. I read that the Dutchess County Fair was the last week of August and I had not visited it since my first summer when I was attending the Culinary Institute of America in 1996.  I wanted to see if it changed much in twenty years, and it hasn’t.

From parking in the lot at the Dutchess County to the buildings that housed the animals and displays it looked to me that nothing changed in over twenty years with the exception of people taking pictures with their phones. Even then, I did not see that many phones out. The Fair was in its 173rd year and people were just having a good time with their families. It was a similar day when I went for the 174th year. The place was crowded with local families catching up with one another.

The Dutchess County Fairgrounds in Rhinebeck, NY

Home

From walking to the admission booths (it was $18.00 to get into the fairgrounds in 2022) to walking the paths not much had changed. When visiting the fairgrounds means almost a step back into time when things seemed so much slower. Being just outside Rhinebeck with its galleries and high-end restaurants it seems a world away. 

My day started late as I had so many errands to run and work in the morning that I got off to a late start. I got to the Dutchess County Fair Grounds at 3:00pm and spent the rest of my afternoon exploring the Fair. It is so interesting to see how much has changed in the world but how little it really changes. In 2019, I had the whole day to spend at the fair and it really is a lot of fun. In 2022, I stopped first at the Hyde Park Farmers Market and the now open Hyde Park Historical Society before arriving at the fair.

The Hyde Park Historical Society at 4389 Albany Post Road

https://hydeparkhistoricalsociety1821.org/

https://m.facebook.com/people/Town-of-Hyde-Park-Historical-Society/100063805906875/

A cow is a cow at the end of the day. How to take care of it and milk it has changed over the time and the philosophy of animals and their care have advanced but the cow is still in the pen, fed hay and goes Moo! That goes the same with chickens, rabbits and goats. There is also the immense pride these children in the 4-H take in these animals that far extends taking a picture of them on an app and having them talk like a human.

Walking the Fair is interesting in that it is broken down into many different areas to explore but when you first walk in what is there but all the food carts and booths. I have never seen so much deep-fried food in my life, and I have been through the Feast of San Genaro dozens of times.

There were food trucks selling fried dough, funnel cakes, Twinkies, brownies and zeppole’s. There carts selling deep fried hot dogs, stuffed pizza and giant tacos. It is hardly for the Vegan customer, but you know what, it is fun every once in a while, to eat like this. I don’t do it every day.

Dutchess County Fair 2019.jpg

The Midway of food vendors at the Dutchess County fair

Both in 2019 and 2022, I got there in the early afternoon and was starved. I stopped at a food truck in the Midway named ‘Janeks’ and ordered their ‘Chef’s Hamburger Special’. The special was two freshly made beef patties that were caramelized and cooked to perfection, topped with smoked bacon, pulled pork and freshly made cheddar on a home baked bun with a side of homemade pickles and cheese and potato pierogi that had been sautéed in butter and onions.

It was on the pricey side but was the best $12.00 ($19.00 in 2022) I had ever spent.  The flavors were so complex and so delicious on that burger that I thought the guy who made it was more of an artist than a cook. It blew away any pizza or fried dough I would have eaten. The combination of the Cheddar Cheese, Pulled Pork and Ham on top of the burger gave it so much extra flavor and added to its smokiness. I only eat this twice a year, at the Fair and then at the Sheep & Wool Festival when I return in October and look forward to it.

dutchess-county-fair-burger.jpg

After eating this burger at Janeks Food Truck it is so perfect you will see God!

https://www.manta.com/c/mmf2bjn/janeks-fine-food-stores

My first stop in the Fair was the Amusement section where all the kiddie rides, Ferris wheels, games of chance and thrill rides were located. In the early part of the day, the area was mildly busy but by the time I left and the lights came on the true ‘Wonderland’ came to life. The lights, the noise and all the screaming coming from the thrill rides brought the area to life. During the day though, it was little kids on the carousels, mini-rides and small track rides. To be a kid again at this Fair.

Dutchess County Fair II.jpg

Dutchess County Fair Midway

Leaving the Amusement area, I ventured next to the historical area of the fair, the Century Museum Antique Village, where the Cider Mill, Sugar Home, the One Room Schoolhouse, the firemen’s tent and the Historic Train Station were located. These recreations of old Dutch farming villages showed a way of life from the turn of the last century and beyond. It is amazing to see how we have progressed in education since then, but I think the times were different when I see the teacher in front of the board describing the lesson plan.

Both in 2019 and 2022, I had a very interesting tour of the Dutchess County Fire Museum (See review on VisitingaMuseum.com) that had been set up on a temporary basis at the fair awaiting a permanent home on the fairgrounds.

Dutchess County Firefighter Museum III

The Dutchess County Temporary Fire Museum at the fairgrounds

The retired firefighters that I talked to said that they have been trying to raise money for a museum, but it has been tough. The fairgrounds have now offered them a space the only problem being that it would be open only when the fairgrounds are open. When I talked with the guys in 2022, they explained that the fairgrounds are working with them to build a new home there.

Dutchess County Firemen’s Museum

https://www.facebook.com/DutchessCountyFirefightingMuseum/

When I walked all these buildings that were created before electricity, computers and even modern light, I think there were less distractions, and you had no choice but to work. Those were the days of back-breaking work loads and things were done totally by hand. There was a care and quality to those items. It is interesting to see how these things were made and how the design has not changed but they have been electrified.

The school room I have seen in many historic museums and have not much changed from their modern version except the furniture has gotten nicer and there is more light. The philosophy of learning the ‘ABC’s’ is still there and the black boards are still part of the routine. I still think it is the best way to learn.

The pathway lead me to the Animal Barns and this is where the Fair had not changed. The families stood guard at their at the different pens washing and taking care of the pets. I never saw such pampering to pigs, cows, chickens, rabbits and goats. They were so well-groomed and well taken care of and their pens were so clean and if they weren’t the kids were right there to take care of it. There were ribbons for all the hard work these children put into it. The care and the pride these children have on animal husbandry is encouraging.

I saw the cow grooming show when I was visiting the Cow Barn and I have never seen such clean cows before. They were washed, brushed and combed by their owners and it reminded me of similar judging at the Dog Shows that I see on TV. When they walked their cows along the path in the ring, there was such pride in the owners faces especially to the winners. I have to say that the ribbons were very impressive.

Dutchess County Fair Cows.jpg

Animal husbandry at its best

https://dutchesscounty4h.weebly.com/

The Llama Barn was interesting in that I usually find Llama to be friendlier but these animals really kept to themselves and stood in the corners of their pens. They seemed to want to socialize with one another and avoid the humans.

The Goat Barn was the exact opposite. I could not have met a friendlier animal with good social graces. They looked like they were so happy to see me. They all came running up to me as I stood by their pens. They are really are an observant animal. They just stare you down when you are looking at them and then they walk away.

The surprising part of the Pig Barn was that it wasn’t a pig pen. It was one of the cleanest parts of the Fair. Each of the stalls were really clean with only the smell of the pigs which probably surprised people coming up from the City. The only thing was some of these over-sized pigs didn’t fit into the pens and there was not much moving room for them. They really do oink a lot. Their owners sat outside the pens socializing and catching up with one another while their pigs slept. They closed the barn off for about an hour.

My favorite part of the animal barns was the Commerford’s Petting Zoo that they had between the amusement areas and the barns. I never got into petting zoos even when I was a kid but got some feed from what looked like bubble gum machines and then the goats and sheep were putty in my hands. They were so friendly and let me pet their warm fur. I have never seen so many happy faces chasing after me. The sheep had such a nice feel to them with their soft furry backs and the goats which I thought might be aggressive could not have been friendlier.

Petting Zoo.jpg

The Commerford’s petting zoo

When you pet them they seem so grateful that you are scratching their backs. I ended up spending more time here than I planned feeding the animals and petting them. They seemed so happy that they got extra attention.

The Horticultural Building reminded me of my many trips to the Philadelphia Flower Show, large self-contained displays of flowers, lawn decorations and furniture each with their own them. There was a lot of creativity to their displays with water sources, planted flowers and shrubs all over the place all colorfully designed. They also used some statuary to accent the plantings. It was a nice size building made even bigger with these creative gardens.

Dutchess County Fair Gardens.jpg

These temporary gardens are beautiful

Dutchess Fair Features

After visiting all the barns and historic recreations, it was off for a late lunch. In 2018, I headed back to the food trucks to decide between the cheese steaks, meatball sandwiches and fried desserts. I decided on a pulled pork sandwich with pickles and a Coke for lunch that was more than enough. The sweetness of the barbecue sauce with the roasted meat on a soft roll made a wonderful meal. The nice part was sitting under a tree on a picnic table to enjoy my lunch. On a nice day, there is nothing like it.

In 2019, I avoided all the fried desserts and got a traditional pretzel with mustard from a vendor from Pennsylvania. The was an expensive pretzel at $8.00 but it was well worth it. The thing was huge, freshly rolled and made and was still hot. With a little mustard there is nothing like it. The softness and butteries of the outside made every bite enjoyable.

In 2022, I through caution to the wind and ordered a Funnel Cake with loads of powdered sugar on top from Sugar Shakers Fair, a vendor out of Sarasota, Fl who were frying out the largest funnel cakes of the fair and what looked like the freshest ($8.00). It had been made ahead of time but still warm and still delicious. I loved pulling apart all the pieces and dipping it into the extra powdered sugar.

http://sugarshakers.com/

After lunch, walked through the rest of the barns looking at rabbits, chickens and taking another peek at the Goat Barn. They are really are a beautiful animal. After leaving the barns area, I walked down to watch the Equestrians perform. There is such a grace to jumping and the ladies did a great job. Some of them are so poised on their horses.

As the afternoon wore on, my last stop was the Gift tents where they were selling handmade arts and crafts. You should see the work of these knitters, quilters and wood carvers. Some of the baby blankets and clothes were so beautifully made and colorful that I wished I had someone to give it to as a gift. The wood carvers were getting ready for the holidays with Santa’s and snowmen. It never ceases to amaze me that we are in a perpetual state of Christmas no matter what time of year it is. The surrealist look of many of these Santa’s  were done by the cut of wood that the artist had to work with when carving the piece. These men and women are very creative in their work and they will be back in October for the Craft’s Show.

Before I left for the evening, a saw a long line forming by the 4 H Exhibit Building and I found out they were selling giant homemade milkshakes with the milk and cream from the Dairy Barns. The sold these large Vanilla, Chocolate and Strawberry shakes for only $5.00! (In 2022, the 22 oz was $7.00 and the 16oz was $5.00. I still ordered the large). That was one line I did not mind being in.

In 2018, I ordered this Vanilla shake where you really could taste the fresh ice cream which was loaded with several scoops. There is nothing like a fresh milkshake with real ice cream. It was the perfect way to cap off the evening. In 2019 and in 2022, I ordered the Strawberry milk shake and one is more than enough. All those scoops of fresh ice cream and sweet milk. It is heaven! You could even scoop up the fresh strawberries on the bottom of the cup.

Dutchess County Milk Shake

This little guy was enjoying the same type of milkshake that I had

Walking the Fair at twilight you really see it come to life with all the lights, screaming kids by the rides and hungry patrons at the food trucks. It is so funny to see these small kids gobble down cheese steaks and fried dough. They had some appetites! When you work on a farm and take care of the animals as I saw the fairgoers did they must burn off all the calories.

When I left at 7:30pm (I hate driving in the dark), the whole fair was coming to life with all the lights on and the shows winding down so that the 8:00pm concert could take place. The lines outside when I left were just as long as when I arrived at 2:00pm. I guess people were in for the show and for dinner.

Dutchess County Fair at night.jpg

The fair is a wonderland of lights and amazement at night

It was a great day and I learned a few things about Animal Husbandry and landscaping. I just wondered why on the way home it took me twenty-two years to come back.

The Dutchess County Fair is the last week of August and is well worth the trip up to Rhinebeck. I thought that again in 2019 and will again in 2020!

Dutchess County Fair:

The Month of August

http://dutchessfair.com/dutchess-fair/

Places to Eat at the Fair:

Janeks Food Truck

101 Beaver Run

Milford, PA 18337

https://www.manta.com/c/mmf2bjn/janeks-fine-food-stores

(For burgers)

Sugar Shakers Fair

6888 Myakka Valley Trail

Sarasota, FL 34241

http://sugarshakers.com/

(For funnel cakes)

4-H Volunteers

https://dutchesscounty4h.weebly.com/

(For milkshakes)

*Not much information but there are at the Fairgrounds during events

Places to Visit:

Firefighter’s Museum of Dutchess County:

https://www.facebook.com/DutchessCountyFirefightingMuseum/

My review on VisitingaMuseum.com:

https://wordpress.com/post/visitingamuseum.com/3196

Hyde Park Historical Society

4389 Albany Post Road

Hyde Park, NY 12538

(845) 229-2559

https://hydeparkhistoricalsociety1821.org/

Open: Sunday 11:00am-3:00pm/Monday-Friday Closed/Saturday 10:00am-3:00pm

Fee: Free

My review on TripAdvisor:

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g60801-d3426818-Reviews-Hyde_Park_Historical_Society_Museum-Hyde_Park_New_York.html